About Me

Kathryn Bradley was born on 2/5/91 and given a Hawaiian name Kahiwalani meaning "Gift From Heaven" She has been a special gift from the day she was born.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Graduation 2013


Graduation 2013


Oh those cute Mini Coopers.  Kathryn always wanted one.  They remind me of her each time I see one.  So small and cute just like her.  I can always picture her driving one or standing next to one.

I had an appointment with a Hip Doctor.  I had scheduled one for another doctor but he wasn’t available until the 14th of May.  So I did a bit of searching and found one that is in the same orthopedic office as my ex-neighbor.  This doctor was available on Wednesday the 24th.  I took the appointment.   I talked to Scott about it and he said that is Paige’s Dad.  Paige is a friend of Kathryn’s.  They met at SOTA (School of the Arts) where Kathryn went to school 10th through 12th grade.  When I met the doctor I told him who I was.  He remembered Kathryn so well.  He said they always enjoyed having Kathryn over to their house.  Then he told me that he would be going out of town in two weeks until the first of June to go to Paige’s graduation in Massachusetts.  Kathryn would have been graduating this spring and starting her adult life.  Paige wants to work with nonprofit organizations.  I told her Dad that I would think Kathryn had some influence on that and he thought maybe she did.  Paige was on Kathryn’s Relay for Life Team for three years.  I saw her at Relay last year too.  She has grown into a wonderful young lady.  Kathryn would have been asking the hospital about working as a child life specialist.  She probably would have gained employment at Children’s.  With the new cancer-building opening, there will be positions to fill.  I watched the telethon about it last night.  She would probably have found someone to room with in Seattle.  I would have wanted her to find employment in Tacoma at Mary Bridge and maybe she would have.  Well, I found it ironic that I should switch doctors and get Paige’s Dad.  We chatted for a while.  He’s a very nice man and very understanding.  I trust he will do a good job on my hip replacement.

I also received some news about Rowan this week.  I was not excited to hear what is going on.  She has a new spot showing up in her brain.  It could be necrosis from radiation.  This would be the best as long as it doesn’t get any worse.  This is when the brain tissue dies from radiation.  It can happen years down the road.  They say it never comes back but I have read where dead brain tissue has come back or new cells have grown.  The other thing it could be is a cancerous lesion.  This would not be good at all.  That would mean the lesion is made up of different types of cells that are resistant to her current treatment.  That is what happened in Kathryn’s case.  This is what can happen with Glio’s.  They are smart little beasts that change their make up when they come back.  You never know what will work on them.  If surgery isn’t an option then the doctors don’t have any idea of what course of action to take.  Rowan’s tumor is on her brain stem and no doctor will operate.  The final one that Kathryn had was also too close to the brain stem so surgery was not an option.  Please pray for Rowan.  She is the sweetest little girl and has the nicest parents.  They deserve a beautiful life together.

Our friend who had all of the seizures went home on Friday.  She is a fighter and is recovering.  She will do great!

Yesterday (Saturday) Scott and I went to a tech session for the Porsche Club in the morning.  It was nice to see people I haven’t seen for a while.  I was talking to one man and Kathryn came up in the conversation.  He said Kathryn was the best child he has ever met.  He was so sincere.  He has a child too but he said that she was the best and made that clear.  He really thought a lot of her and thought she was truly a wonderful person, the best.  I have to agree.  When Kathryn was a live I don’t think I realized just how wonderful she was.  I was her Mom always working on directing her to be a good person.  I realize now that she did become that wonderful person long, long ago.  I didn’t have to work very hard at all to help her develop into this person.  She was a gift from Heaven and she was Heavenly.  I guess our Hawaiian friend who gave her the name Kahiwalani (Gift from Heaven) knew who she was even as an infant. 

Richard has also grown so much.  He is working in a couple of classrooms.  He even volunteered to work with the “Bad Kids.”  He said, “They aren’t really bad, they are just like I was in school.”  They are getting their work done.  He said they are just from unfortunate situations with families that aren’t like ours.  He said that people in the Ed classes don’t understand that these kids don’t have families that make sure they do their homework.  They don’t have those nagging parents like they all did.  He said that if he didn’t have Scott and me as parents he would have turned out a whole lot different.  A couple of the college students in one of his classes did a research project on who has the most influence on kids.  He told me that I would be happy to know that I was right when I said it is the parents that make or break a kid.  Their research found that the parents are the most influential people in a kid’s life.  Well it's obvious!  We as teachers are only a tiny part of their lives.  Yes, I have influence kids to do better despite their parents.  Yes, I have talked to students about adopting out babies, not committing suicide, doing what is right for themselves, working hard to be successful, leaving your friends behind sometimes because they will drag you down.  Sharing my own stories about life and how to not get pulled the wrong direction.  Both Scott and I could have been in lots of trouble if we didn’t have parents that taught us right form wrong and the hard work is what it takes to be successful.  To be proud of your work and to give to others.  My favorite saying is, "Be the Bigger Person."  I have used this line a lot with both Richard and Kathryn.  That means to give in if it saves you from an argument.  It means to help others.  Some times it means to not get what you want to make someone else happy. 

Richard is also going to a big seminar for Siblings of children with life threatening illnesses.  Bee will be going with him.  He explained to his professor that he would have to miss part of the class that day.  Richard made arrangements for things to work out the best he could for his work and his partners work before talking to the professor.  The professor said he would still lose the points.  Richard asked if he would still pass the class.  The professor said yes.  Richard will be missing class.  This is very important to him.  He can really be a positive influence for kids in this situation.  The same situation he lived with since he was 12.  Bee also knows this position in life.  I’m glad he is choosing to go to the sibling seminar even if his grade will drop.  He knows what is important to him and what will help him help others.  He’s a great person and I am so proud to call him my son.



The Kathryn “Panda” Bradley store closes May 2nd.  So order your t-shirts.  Remember all proceeds go to Camp Goodtimes West.

www.baysidecustomstores.com

Make it a great day!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

A lot Going on! 4-20-13


A lot Going on!  4-20-13

We had a nice little birthday party for Scott at our neighbor’s restaurant in Lakewood.  Great food and friends.  Richard and Bee came down and joined us.  I love seeing them. 
Monday  (April 15th) Taxes are done!  Wow, It took an hour and a half with the taxman.  I had everything organized and all ready to go.  Just think I hadn’t spent all of those hours organizing it would have taken over two hours and that would be a lot more money too! 
Monday night I was walking up the stairs to go to bed.  As I walked I thought about Kathryn and asked her to come visit me again.  Show yourself to me or come to me in a dream.  It brings me so much peace and comfort.  Then I said, “Don’t show yourself right now,” I may get scared and fall down the stairs.  When I went to bed I prayed that I would see Kathryn or dream about her.  And I did.  In the last dream she was the age that she was when she left us.  This time she was younger, like 2.  She and I were doing things together.  We were playing and making cookies and different things.  There was no way I was going to leave her side.  I knew she was there just for a visit.  I even told Scott in my dream that I was spending every second with her that I could as she could be gone in an instant.  I held her and rocked her.  I touched her arms and little fingers.  It was so special and comforting.  I woke up happy and feeling satisfied.  It was a warm and wonderful dream.  I hope I continue dreaming of Kathryn forever. 
On Tuesday or so I got this notice on FB.  It was from Richard.  Richard thinks my FB was hacked or something.  Anyhow it was from messages from back in January of 2012.  That was when Kathryn was in the hospital. I thought I would share it.  Arranging Visitors 1/2/12
 Kathryn is feeling pretty good today. She had a great sleep. Not having a bunch of drugs in her seemed to help her sleep. Bob the RT turned down the ventilator for a while but is now taking a rest. They will continue to do this and try to get her to the point of no vent pressure. This of course will be closely monitored. She is scared about not being able to breath. She went through some real bad trauma when they removed the tube and she fears this happening again.
 She finally allowed some friends to stop by this morning as they are driving back up to Bellingham and won’t be around for a while. She asked them questions and had some good smiles for them. She even kind of laughed just a quiet laugh. Another friend is on her way in right now. This is good for her spirits. We are happy she is allowing some friends to come by. Doctors are still saying a new cuff on Tuesday to allow her to talk. Typing on the computer is working for now.








        
I thought it was really strange that this should all of a sudden be on my FB page.

Maybe it was Kathryn messing with it and reminding me that she is here.  It was a good post and made me feel good.  We had hope and could see the positive. 

I have been talking to the t-shirt people.  They finally have the shirts where you can see the designs.  Let a cure rain down still doesn’t show all that great but the others do.  When you click on a shirt a separate photo comes up of the design.  Here is the website again.  I guess I put an extra letter in it last time.  We haven’t sold enough to make a lot of money for Camp so please consider buying on and passing on the notice to others.  The store closes on May 2nd.  The store is named Kathryn “Panda” Bradley.

www.baysidecustomstores.com

My Mom was down on Wednesday.  She spent the night.  I wish I could have spent more time with her.  I had conferences that evening so I didn’t get home until 8pm.  We still had a good time with the little time we had.  She is so fun to be with.  I don’t think I realized this as a kid.  That’s probably because she was being a Mom and taking care of things.  But I see it all now and enjoy her so much.

I also received some bad news this week about myself.  I was told on Thursday that I have severe osteoarthritis.  Not just a little and not just some but severe.  I was told I had a lot of bad stuff going on in there (meaning my right hip).  Basically the cartilage is falling apart.  I’m thinking about hip replacement.  I don’t want to take a bunch of drugs that “may cause lymphoma, lung cancer and all kinds of other stuff.”  You know if they may cause, they have caused in the past with other people.  I’m not looking for a band-aid but a more permanent fix.  Not afraid of surgery so I should get this done.  I haven’t talked to my doctor yet as he was out of town and will be back on Monday.  I’ve only been reading.  I don’t have time to mess around with this not being able to walk or run.  I need to move freely!  Still going to the gym as I have a goal to make by July.  I’m getting there and will not let this get in the way. 

Handling health issues is hard but when you think about how much others have gone through and have come out of it fine or even better I can’t think of this as anything more than just a little hick-up that I will get rid of.  Our friend is in the hospital because of 30 or more seizures over a two or 3-day period. It took 5 to 6 days to get them completely under control.  Her strength and positive attitude are inspiring.  Now she is doing rehab to get back to walking.  I will never forget watching Kathryn have a seizure.  It is the most helpless feeling.  There is nothing you can do.  It’s hard to think a person having a seizure let alone 30 or more in such a short time frame.  Please pray for our young friend.  She also has multiple myeloma.  Thanks to her first cancer treatments at 13 she now has this other stuff.  Yes, cancer treatment causes other cancers and other diseases.  It took Kathryn!

My trainer at the gym made the comment about me meeting a lot of really amazing people.  Yes, cancer has brought a ton of amazing people into my life.  It took one amazing person from me but it also brought a lot of amazing people into my life too.  I told her that the people who deal with cancer are positive strong people.  The people who volunteer at cancer events are the most warn and giving people you will ever meet.  Then I went on to say that we have met people at the track too who are the friendliest and most wonderful people too.  We have met a lot of people who are caring and loving.  We are blessed to know all of these people. I’m talking about you!!!

Richard is busy teaching classes as he finishes his last quarter at Western before student teaching.  I’m sharing a project with him that I do in class each year.  Kids love it because they get to eat in class.  But the great thing is that they all do the project and they really get it.  It’s is what I do with my lowest level math kids.  It draws interest and gets them involved.

Have a great day!  Be thankful for all that you have, friends, family and health. 












Saturday, April 13, 2013

Wine Auction and Kathryn’s Return 4-13-13


Wine Auction and Kathryn’s Return 4-13-13

Last weekend we helped out with the Wine Auction for Camp Goodtimes.  We headed up there on Friday to help get everything organized for a quick set up the next evening.  I help trimming flowers and making arrangements.  There was a lot of volunteers so it went pretty fast.  I wrote a ton of thank you cards, even had to take some back to the hotel to finish.  We went to Red Robin for dinner when we were done.  We stayed at the W Hotel in downtown Seattle Friday and Saturday night.

Saturday was pretty relaxing.  We actually slept in until maybe 6:30 or 7.  That’s late for us.  Scott had bought a bow-tie for the auction but we didn’t know how to tie it.  The front desk girls all gave it a try.  I actually had it the night before but wasn’t sure that it was right.  At lunch our server brought us a video and then I got it just fine.  Reading the directions and following still pictures just wasn’t enough.  But once I watched the video I had it.  It looked real good too.  We both took turns putting on our fancy clothes to see what would work best.  It was fun.

We headed out to the Wine Auction around 5:15 to help with the set up.  When we got there I was told that we couldn’t set up until 6:00 and we had all planned on 5:30.  That means we would have 30 minutes to set the entire deal up.  There were probably 20 to 25 tables for the silent auction and all of the auction items to set up.  There were dinner tables to set with the center pieces.  Thank goodness for over 80 volunteers who all made this happen in 30 minutes.  Richard and Bee were volunteers that night.  They spent a little time with us later in the evening. 

At the dinner there were speakers.  One was a young man speaking about scholarships.  He was about Kathryn’s age and he too had a medulloblastoma like Kathryn did when she was 8.  He seemed to be doing fine.  There was also a video of a family.  Their young son also had a medulloblastoma.  I think he was only 16 months when he was diagnosed with this.  The video spoke more about the sibling (the older daughter) and how she was lost in all of this cancer stuff.  The little boy with cancer needed more care and took more of the parent’s time.  This is what happens.  She said once her daughter was able to attend camp it brought her back.  Camp gave them back their daughter who had been lost for all of these years.  Camp gave her a place where there were kids like her.  Kids who had siblings that were going through cancer.  Kids who may feel a bit left out because their sibling is getting all of the attention and Mom and Dad are worried and consumed with getting the sick child well.

As I watched this video I looked at my brother (Pat) sitting across the table from me.  He was watching it and I was crying.  I thought about how he took Richard under his wing for that year.  When he asked what he could do back in 1999 to help, all I could think of was Richard.  I told him that Richard would get lost in all of this cancer stuff.  I asked him to take Richard under his wing and teach him how to ski.  So he did!  One day that fall he went over to my Mom and Dad’s house and grabbed Richard.  He said, “Come on Richard, let’s go.”  Where are we going?  Shopping!  He took him to the store and bought him skis, boots, poles, ski pants, goggles, gloves, a helmet, a jacket and anything else that was needed for skiing.  Once ski season started he took Richard up skiing every weekend.  The first weekend Pat came back and told me that Richard was a natural.  He had skied from the top of the mountain.  I couldn’t have been more proud.  As we all know skiing is Richard’s love.  I’m forever grateful to my brother for giving Richard skiing.  He had given me skiing back when I was 12 too.  He took me on a ski trip and taught me how to ski.  He’s a good brother.  Richard wrote a paper about it in school.  He wrote about how grateful he was to Pat to give so much to him.  He also wrote about how he hopes to be able to give back in the same way.  Richard gives every year as he volunteers at camp.

As Kathryn neared the end of her life; she asked me, “Mom what can we give Richard this time?”  We gave him skiing the first time.  I told her that the skiing is all that Richard needed and if I could find something to give him I would.  When she did pass away we did give something to Richard from Kathryn.  He always wanted a Volkswagon.  He had an old Audi at the time and Kathryn had an Audi wagon.  We sold both and the money plus a little more went to buy Richard his dream car.  He loves that little car.  I think Kathryn would be so happy to know that we did this as a gift to her brother from her.  You may remember that car was totaled around Chritsmas on his way home.  He bought another one just like it only newer.

This week Scott turned 60.  We went out for dinner and had a nice evening, just the two of us.  Tonight (Saturday 13th) we are going to a Chinese Restaurant with 14 other people.  We use to do this for his birthday years ago.  Our neighbor owns the restaurant and I know she will make the evening perfect.  She loves it when we come in.

I had a dream about Kathryn Thursday night.  It was so real.  You remember I have prayed and prayed for her to come back.  I have also thought over and over about how we would handle her return.  Well, besides being totally thrilled there would be all of the logistics.  Drivers license, Social Security Number, completing school and transcripts.  In my dream Kathryn was with me and we were checking these things out.  Her driver’s license was still valid.  Her credit card still active.  She made a comment about the card still working just like she was never gone.  I guess it wouldn’t be a big deal.  We would just go on like she was never gone.  Wouldn’t that be great!  I loved this dream.  We were having such a good time.  She was home where she belonged.  She was with me and we being us.  Us…. yep we were us.  We belonged together.  She was the best daughter ever.

Kathryn’s t-shirt store.  It didn’t go off as well as I had hoped.  A few mistakes.  The first was that it didn’t open on the day that it should have.  Then the photos of the shirts are so hard to see.  I have posted better pictures on Facebook and sent out emails with them.  I will talk to the owner on Monday and see if we can use my photos instead of what they have online.  The writing that explains what the t-shirts are from and for what was put on the Panda Heart t-shirt and should be on the others not that one.  And then I had discussed a price that was far less than they are listed for.  We need to have a long conversation.  Oh, and the store name was listed as Camp Goodtimes West rather than Kathryn Panda Bradley.  If  they change the price and you already bought one I will make sure you get a price adjustment.  Well, the store is open at
www.baysidecustomstores.com 

register – get your confirmation email – go back to the store – under organizations find either Camp Goodtimes West or Kathryn Panda Bradley.  I don’t know when it will change to Kathryn Panda Bradley.

I need to get going.  I have things to do around the house and then off to the Daffodil Parade in Puyallup to take photos of our marching band.  They wanted me to be the cougar mascot but I don’t think I could do that amount of walking right now with my messed up leg.  It is better but not yet normal.

Take care,
Carol

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Store will open on April 12th after Noon

There was a little communication error and the t-shirt store will open after noon on April 12th.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Feeling and Sensing Kathryn 4-5-13


Feeling and Sensing Kathryn 4-5-13

The first thing is about a pair of shoes.  Remember I had asked Kathryn before to help me find things and all of a sudden I find them.  This is true for these shoes too.  I have these great teal pumps that I really like.  I couldn’t find them anywhere.  I thought I left them in the gym locker or somewhere.  I asked Kathryn to help and I didn’t find them right away.  But, I kept having this nagging thing going on in my brain that told me to look in my closet.  If I would think about the shoes it would come to me.  I even told Kathryn a couple of times that I didn’t have time to look right now but I would look in the closet again later.  And I had looked before and I thought I was thorough.  In fact I had looked several times and I thought I had looked in every shoebox.  Then the other day there they were.  In a shoebox right in front of me.  One that I have moved several times.  I couldn’t believe it. 

So last weekend was Easter.  I thanked God for giving his only son to die for us so we could have eternal life.  I also spent the night with my Mom.  I went up on Saturday to her house.  I called before I left and I could tell she had been working way too hard.  I told her to stop and go take a nap.  She took my orders well.  When I got there she was on the couch and she sounded so much better.  We had a great time setting up for Easter and preparing food.  We laughed and had so much fun. 

Easter day was great.  I saw two of my three brothers and my nieces and nephews.  Richard and Bee showed up early, which was nice for my Mom to have them to herself for a bit.  Richard has slimmed down a lot.  He looks great! 

Scott and I can’t afford to have pros come in and redo our bedroom and bath for us so we are painting and what not.  He calls it design on a dime.  He must be watching those shows when I’m not around.  You know the do it yourself shows.  I thought about Kathryn while using the brush she used to paint her bedroom up in Bellingham in the fall of 2011.  She had to paint the entire room left-handed and she is right handed.  I thought she did a great job.  It still and always will amaze me how she was able to adapt to using her left hand so quickly when her right hand just wouldn’t cooperate.

I chatted with my neighbor the other day.  Her Dad had a heart attack in November and she is looking over his care and also her mother.  They both need someone to make sure they are eating right and getting their medications.  But as independent people it is hard for them accept her help and this makes it very hard on her.  We talked about my Dad and the care he needed.  We also talked about parents who have lost children and how so many ends up in divorce.  I think Scott and I have a much stronger bond than that.  We have been through tough times and this is really tough but we have been groomed for it and can over come this too.

We had a nice dinner out at Boathouse 19 the other evening.  The young hostess chatted a lot with us.  She wants to be a neurosurgeon.  She is very interested in the study of cells too.  She is one of our hopefuls.  We hope that she or someone will come up with ideas to stop this disease (cancer).  This young lady is so excited to get started.  I sure wish her the very best.

Ran into a man at Home Depot (a worker) with a Panda on his apron.  Little reminders of Kathryn everywhere. 

Wow, I read this article about this woman who doesn’t have time for her child.  Her career comes first.  She has someone else raising her child.  She doesn’t have dinner with her or help her get ready for bed.  She doesn’t read her bedtime stories or tuck her in at night.  She is truly missing out.  She had her child only because she thought she should have one before she was not able to.  Not so much because she wanted to love and raise a child.  No she admitted she was too self absorbed and too into her career.  She tried to write this as a warning of not to have kids when you are in your 40’s and have a career.  Well, this woman made me sick.  She should have never had a child.  You can have a career and a child but you need to put your child first.  You need to be a loving and caring parent first.  People who bring children into this world really need to think first. You should never have a child without the understanding that your child depends on you for everything.  That’s everything.  To nurture, love, teach, and share life with your child is first!

Enough on my feelings about terrible parents.  Well, I have always been upset about people who don’t care for their children the way I think they should.  First, I had an incomplete pregnancy, which broke my heart.  Then I had to go on fertility drugs to have Richard.  We went through a lot.  The same with Kathryn only it was worse.  Finally I had two beautiful children whom I loved dearly.  Then Kathryn got cancer.  Finally after 10 years I felt relaxed.  I didn’t think we would ever have to deal with it again.  Then within a year she was diagnosed with the killer GBM.  And finally it took her life.  And now I think I have a right to be really upset with these parents who can’t seem to love their children.

So I finally had an MRI of my hip.  And several x-rays (hip, pelvis and femur).  You know how they ask if you are claustrophobic?  Well, I am just a little.  I tried to crawl into our attic at our cabin to put some insulation in and I could not go completely through the opening.  Well, not with the mask on.  Once I took the mask off I was fine.  That’s why I didn’t snorkel for so many years too.  Well, as the machine started to slide back I had my eyes opened.  Bad idea!  It feels like the top of the tube is only four inches above your head but is it actually about a foot above your head.  I quickly closed my eyes.  That helped.  I was breathing very heavy.  I thought I should push the button to call the technician and almost did.  I was starting to panic.  Then I thought about Kathryn doing this so many times and so calmly.  I thought about how I would rub her feet and how that must have brought her comfort knowing that she wasn’t alone.  Then, with my eyes closed, a bright light came to me.  It was like someone had turned on lights inside of the tube.  It calmed me.  My breathing was less heavy.  I know it was Kathryn helping me out.  When I got nervous again the light came and calmed me.  She was definitely there.  After about the third time I was ok.  I focused on the music.  Towards the end I found myself crying.  Tears were rolling down my cheeks.  I wasn’t even thinking about Kathryn that moment.  I just think all of the memories came to me and I don’t know.  With Kathryn having cancer a strong bond was created.  We shared the MRI times and we always went to the gift shop or something to make the experience good.  We may have sat in the cafeteria and had coffee or something.  We had so many visits to the clinic and MRI place.  We made all of these times as well as we could.  We didn’t focus on the negative even when it did get real bad.

Kathryn is here with me.  I have felt her strong presence.  As I wrote to a friend on facebook, Death is just the beginning.  I will be with Kathryn again some day.  We will all be reunited.  We had it all when Kathryn was well.  Even when she was sick.  We had the perfect little family.  But it was taken.  But we still have the three of us.  We are tight and loving.  We are Team Bradley!

Yesterday (Thursday) we (Scott and I) drove up to Mount Vernon to pick up flowers for the Camp Goodtimes Wine Auction.  Lots of tulips!  We also dropped off boxes of donations from the Durham’s to the American Cancer Society office in Seattle on our way home.  It was a nice trip and for a worthy cause. 

I need to get going.  There are some things I need to get done before we go Seattle to help start the set up for the dinner and auction. 

Even though it is supposed to rain like crazy have a great day.  Rainy days allow us to do things inside without feeling guilty.  Rain also makes our plants grow and the grass green.  So, make it a great day.

We are setting up the t-shirt store and it will be open from April 11th through May 2nd.  The store will have four different designs that Kathryn made back in 2009 for her senior project.  All are cancer related and very creative.  There will also be a Panda design available that I created.  All proceeds will go to Camp Goodtimes.

It will be at www.baysidecustomstores.com  Once there you scroll down to the store Kathryn "Panda" Bradley.  Then you are able to look at the designs.  You may need to sign in.  Shirts are 15.99 plus shipping.  If a lot are ordered we can do it again and again to support Camp Goodtimes.  Share with everyone!